If I can’t be travelling in Europe there’s nothing I enjoy more than reading about Europe so I was thrilled to receive a copy of Janelle McCulloch’s latest book London Secrets: Style, Design, Glamour, Gardens recently.
As the owner of McCulloch’s previous titles Paris: A guide to the city’s creative heart and Provence and the Cote D’Azur - Discover the spirit of the South of France (read my reviews here), I knew I was in for a treat before I even opened the cover of London Secrets - and I wasn’t disappointed.
London Secrets is not a travel guide as such but that’s not to say it wouldn’t be useful to a traveller planning a visit to London. Rather than write about London’s main tourist attractions - after all, they are covered in plenty of other books - the author shares her favourite haunts from stylish boutiques to quirky hotels, upmarket restaurants to trendy bars, and walks the reader through some of London's gorgeous gardens.
McCulloch spent five years living in London and knows the city well and in London Secrets she reveals to the reader all manner of places that regular travel guides don’t mention.
Who knew that London was home to numerous Victorian-era baths that are still open today, or that there’s a book shop that only sells cookbooks in Notting Hill and one that specialises in door handles, cabinet fittings, hooks and mirrors? Certainly not me, until I read London Secrets.
Other useful tips for those with an upcoming trip to London include some surprising neighbourhoods to seek out, where to pick up some great pre-loved vintage couture pieces, plus tips on finding the ideal hotel in London.
The 224-page hardcover coffee table book is chock full of beautiful photographs, most taken by the author, that showcase her love of architecture, design, interiors and fashion.
If you share any of McCulloch’s passions, have fond memories of a visit to London or are perhaps planning a visit in the future, London Secrets is sure to please.
It would also make a great gift for a loved one who appreciates beautiful photography and the finer things in life.
London Secrets: Style, Design, Glamour Gardens is published by Images Publishing.